|Photo: Chris White|
Grit. Pain. Determination. These words only scratch the surface of Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.
The film draws you in from the start, with nothing but a blank screen and the sound of a drum beat, constantly getting faster. Then the curtain rises on this captivating story of a promising young drummer, Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller), honing his craft in a practice room at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory.
Andrew wants nothing more than to be the best, sacrificing relationships – and even himself – all for his dream. Being the best at Shaffer means only one thing: you have the opportunity to perform with the “big boys” in Terence Fletcher’s studio band, which represents the school in jazz competitions – and always finishes at the top. But the style of teaching from Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) is just as intense as the music his band plays.
I have a very short list of all time favorite films – five to be exact. Whiplash can now be added to the list. It’s also rare for me to say I’d like to see a film again while it’s still in theaters. I’ve only done that with three or four films in my life. Whiplash is one that I could easily spend the money to see again. Why do I say all of this?
For a film to make my all time favorite list, it has to immediately capture my attention and give me a feeling of total immersion. In other words, my mind is completely engaged in the film. So much so that I’m not thinking about what time it is or what’s for dinner later on. This film did that and so much more. I was enthralled from the start, my foot tapping along to the brilliant musical score, pulling for Andrew and hating Fletcher but understanding his passion for music. Whiplash will leave you breathless, heck, probably tired or anxious, but you’ll definitely want an encore. I know I did.
I Give It An: A+
Check Out The Trailer Here